Served Magazine’s Broad bean, fennel leaf, and almond blossom rice salad with orange-blossom water dressing

Serves 4

Prep time 45 minutes


Wholegrain basmati rice, 200g
Fresh/frozen broad beans, 150g, skinned and shelled
Saffron, 1/2 tsp
Boiled water, 2 tbsp
Sugar, pinch
Almond flakes, 80g
Dried cranberries, 80g
Fennel seeds, 1 tbsp, toasted
Fennel fronds, 10g, roughly chopped
Dill leaves, 10g, roughly chopped
Dried mint, 1 tbsp
Leek, 1, finely chopped
Crumbled ġbejna or feta, 100g (optional)
Bunch of almond blossom flowers, washed

For the dressing:

Extra-virgin olive oil, 5 tbsp
Orange blossom water, 1 tsp
Orange juice, 2 tbsp
Lemon, Zest of ½
Garlic, 1 clove, grated
Pinch of salt and pepper


Wash the rice multiple times until the water runs clear. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the rice with a few pinches of salt until it is soft and tender. Cooking times vary according to the brand so follow your packet’s instructions. When ready, drain, fluff with a fork, and set aside to cool.

If you are using fresh broad beans for Broad bean and fennel leaf rice salad, boil them in plenty of water for about 4-5 minutes. If you are using frozen broad beans, boil them in plenty of water for 6 minutes. Drain the beans and if they have their skins on, pop each bean out. Put the beans in a bowl and set aside.
In a small container combine the 2 tablespoons of boiling water with the saffron strands and a pinch of sugar. Let them stand to infuse for 10 minutes and then mix it with 6 tablespoons of the cooked rice. Stir into the remaining rice.

In a small frying pan, toast the almonds and the fennel seeds for a couple of minutes. Add the toasted almonds and seeds to the broad beans together with the dried cranberries, dill, fennel leaves, dried mint, and leek. Stir into the rice.

Combine all the ingredients needed for the dressing and mix well. Taste for seasoning. Add this dressing to the rice salad together with some crumbled ġbejna or feta ( optional) and the petals from some almond blossom flowers. Serve as a light lunch or as a side for lamb, chicken, fish, or any other main course.

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